(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Team USA arrived in San Salvador, El Salvador on Thursday to compete in the Pan American Juvenile and Junior Championships on Friday and Saturday.
Twenty-eight athletes from the United States will compete against players from 15 nations throughout North and South America.
"We are pleased to have such a large delegation, including the athletes as well as coaches, parents and chaperones, attend these Championships," said USA Judo CEO Jose H. Rodriguez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who arrived in El Salvador on Wednesday to ensure that all arrangements were properly made for the team's arrival.
Competition will begin for the Juvenile (15-16-year-olds) athletes on Friday. Junior (17-19-year-olds) athletes will compete on Saturday.
"This looks to be one of the strongest and most well-attended Pan American Junior Championships since we hosted it in Colorado Springs three years ago. We have a very strong team here and are looking to give Brazil and other top teams a run for the medal count," Rodriguez said.
All members of the team received full travel gear, including podium attire, travel bags and both blue and white gis made by Adidas through a partnership between USA Judo and Seka-Sports, Inc. which also will serve as the gi and apparel sponsor for the Cadet and Junior World Teams that will compete in Budapest, Hungary and Athens, Greece later this year.
A complete roster of athletes competing this weekend is as follows:
Junior Team (17-19-year-olds)
Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
Lisette Abad (San Jose, Calif. / After-School All-Stars)
Chrissy Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)
Jillian Roman (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
Kelsi Bostic (Anderson, Ind. / Judan Judo)
Helen Delpopolo (Westfield, N.J.)
Joshua Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
Kyle Taketa (Torrance, Calif. / Gardena Judo)
Andrew Porras (Hialeah, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
Matthias Montez (Brentwood, Calif. / After-School All-Stars)
Michael Harrison (Burke, Va. / Sport Judo)
Armen Babayan (Alendale, Calif. / Valley Judo Institute)
Colin Robinson (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
Juvenile Team (15-16-year-olds)
Destinee Nagtalon (Cupertino, Calif. / San Jose Buddhist Judo Club)
Vanessa Calimquim (Long Beach, Calif. / South Bay Judo)
Brianna Padron (Davie, Fla. / Panther Judo)
Samantha Martin (Burleson, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo Training Center)
Crystal Butts (Fontana, Calif. / LACC Judo Club)
Yesenia Crespo (Dover, Fla. / Del Diaz Mambi Training Center)
Kadee Shadden (Mineral Wells, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo Training Center)
Micaela Enriquez (Burleson, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo Training Center)
Daniel Neyra (Boca Raton, Fla. / Onikusu Judo Club)
Ruben Martin (Burleson, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo)
Max Schneider (Chicago, Ill. / Tohkon Judo Academy)
Max Golembo (Vernon Hills, Ill. / Cohen's Judo)
Pablo Redden-Gonzalez (Earlysville, Va. / Charlottesville Judo Academy)
Mike Harris (Clermont, Fla. / Central Florida Judo & Jujitsu)
Jimmy Barnes (Oklahoma City, USA Stars)